an electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide exclusively to methanol
Javier, A. et al. Overlayer Au-on-W Near-Surface Alloy for the Selective Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Methanol: Empirical (DEMS) Corroboration of a Computational (DFT) Prediction. Electrocatalysis, DOI: 10.1007/s12678-015-0276-8 (2015).
LEFT: Plot of normalized ion current as a function of time for CH3OH (m/z = 31) generated from a constant-potential cathodic electrolysis, at −1.8 V (Ag/AgCl), of a CO2-saturated 0.1 M KHCO3 solution at W(pc)-n[(1 × 1)-Au], where n is the number of Au monolayers.
RIGHT: Schematic illustration of the idealized structures of the Au(211)-[(1 × 1)-W]-[(1 × 1)-Au] and W(pc)-(1 × 1)-Au near-surface alloys.
Based on a theoretical prediction, a near-surface alloy (NSA) of a monolayer of Au on bulk W was empirically found to generate methanol to the exclusion of other hybocarbons and alcohols.
SIGNIFICANCE & IMPACT
We have demonstrated a highly selective way of generating liquid fuel-methanol. The experimental observation is in agreement with theoretical work and demonstrates our experimental ability to test predictions from theory.
- The JCAP experimentalist used theoretical results that predicted an Au-W-Au NSA with methanol-product-selectivity (Back et al., 2015, DOI: 10.1021/cs501600x) to synthesize overlayer NSA films of Au and W by controlled galvanostatic deposition.
- Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry (DEMS) focused singularly on product selectivity towards methanol and was used to confirm selective methanol production by an Au-W NSA.